US to Liberate Canada

After stating last week in a press conference that Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin is “kind of a pussy,” President Bush seems to be heeding the call of his Conservative brethren and is preparing a plan to liberate the people of Canada.

“Too long have the people of Canada suffered under the oppressive quasi-Socialist Martin/Chretien regime,” Bush told the White House press core on the front lawn of the white house. “Our intelligence leads us to believe that we will be received as liberators and not as occupiers.”

When questioned as to why the military approach is necessary rather than a diplomatic solution, the President responded, “I like Cheetos. Do you like Cheetos? I like ’em better than pretzels cause I can eat ’em without the secret service guys pre-chewing them for me. I like Cheetos.”

At this point Vice President Cheney took the mic and sternly told the reporter to “go f*** himself” and then explained that not doing something could be much worse than doing something very poorly. When a reporter asked what the hell that meant, Cheney faked a heart attack as Bush kept muttering something about Cheetos.

Party faithful have shown strong support for the plan with some commenting that the Canadian people deserve to be free from socialism and the evils it propagates. Newly appointed President of the World Bank, Paul Wolfowitz, has openly stated that he is eager to “open up those trade barriers and get some economic development started to improve the Canadian standard of living. The first step will be to get rid of that horribly inefficient public health care system and replace it with something much more sustainable.”

Wolfowitz isn’t the only one excited about the new economic playground. A spokesperson for Wal-Mart has said that the company looks forward to further expanding its position in the North United State, especially after the removal of economic inhibitors like workers rights and benefits programs.

Opposition from the Democrats has been vicious and determined. Sen. John Kerry stated that while he was dead-set against the war, he would support it if President Bush started it. “While we are against going to war with a friendly nation, we cannot ignore that friends sometimes do things that friends should not do. Health care is important and we must protect it from privatizing, unless the privatizing is a good idea. Then its a good idea. We should throw our ribbons away from old wars, but not the medals. The medals can be melted down to increase resources. I have a plan, a better plan for America. We can do better.” He was then reminded that he was no longer in the race for the Presidency.

Former CNN correspondent Tucker Carlson, now seen by 5 people on MSNBC and a few more on PBS, weighed in on the affair. “The Canadian people are more socialist than Russia ever was. They whine about everything we do without admitting that without us, Norway could come over here and kick their ass. They should stick to what they do best, dogsledding and drinking beer. Let us handle world politics.”

When asked about the impending invasion, PM Martin replied, “Really? Well, we will definitely seek a solution that will ensure my re-election. If the Canadian people want to get invaded, then that’s what we will do. This is a democratic country and I’ll be damned if I don’t do what the people want.”

Opposition Leader Stephen Harper seemed to stand in the pro-invasion camp. “America is our closest friend and strongest economic trading partner. If they need to blow off some steam and blowing up Quebec helps them do it, fine. As long as they stay out of Alberta I’m cool. The faster we can get some Fundamentalist Christian values back in this country the better. And after all, who better to put the “fun” back in fundamentalist than this administration?”

As expected, Canadians are evenly split on the issue. A pro-invasion citizen of Calgary pointed out that, “as long as they bring in some good trade and economic reforms I’m cool with some people dying. I’ve been unemployed for three years and this could really help me get a job in the rebuilding effort. The oil fields will need locals to rebuild it and I want to get in on the ground floor.”

On the other side of the spectrum, a Vancouver local was quoted at a rally for Beaver Rights and Freedoms at the Nam restaurant as saying, “We must respect the rights of the people of Canada and the animals that inhabit these great lands. Americans are brutally vicious beasts and should piss off. Any country that thinks 3% beer is good really shouldn’t be involved in international politics.”


Piper to step down

Martha Piper, current President of UBC, has announced that she will step down from her position in June 2006. Long despised by many a UBC undergrad for jacking tuition without first developing a budget, Piper has never had many fans in the student body.

As my time at UBC is drawing to a close, I must admit that the recent flurry of construction is actually looking like a good investment. The new buildings will add much needed study space in my particular program and offer more seats to increase enrollment.

On the flip side, new buildings and new seats do not translate into better instruction. While I have had 4 or 5 profs that have been oustanding and gave some excellent instruction, more than 10 were absolutely horrid and failed to impart any knowledge to the class.

If the school desires to return to it’s former glory, I think the proper start would be to improve the faculty and not spread it even thinner.


Howdy folks. Just FYI, the presale for the Vancouver Weezer show at the Commodore is already underway. I expect it to sell out very quickly as this will be an awesome show. Tix come out to $45ish after all the crappy service charges but that is still worth it for Weezer in my opinion. The presale password is “hills” just in case you need it. Regular public tickets go on sale Saturday morning.

The new Weezer album is surprisingly still “new.” As is, no one has leaked a copy to the net as far as I can see. If I’m wrong on this, please let me know! (Still anxious for the new NIN album too!)

Anyways, if you are gonna go to the Weezer show, let me know. I bought a single ticket cause I hate trying to find people to buy a ticket after the fact. Too much stress with so many people on tight budgets.

Sigh, Moby, Weezer, and I still haven’t bought my tix for Arts County Fair. This is going to be a crazy April.

Meeting Matt Good

Meeting Matt Good shouldn’t be such a big deal. Yet, there is something special about shaking hands with someone whose work has been such a huge factor in your musical life for so long. I can’t remember much that we talked about, but one thing did stand out.

I started by telling Matt the story of the first time I saw him live. A group of us went to the XXX Modern Rock Circus at the Plaza of Nations. Being in high school… grade 9 I think… we had to get a ride to and from the show. Waiting for the ride to show up at the Terry Fox memorial, a group of thugs came by and decided to torment us. This then led to us being mugged; me specifically being taken into an ATM by 3 guys and told to get money out of it. Fun times.

Anyways, Matt couldn’t believe we got mugged. I’m sure if I ever run into him again I could just say, “Hey Matt, I’m the guy who got mugged” and he would remember me. Unless, other people have told the same story, then there could be some overlap. 😉

Anyhoo, it was a great night. Oh yeah, the reason I met him was he was speaking at a rally on voter reform in Chinatown on Saturday. It was more of a town hall style meeting with lots of ideas put forth on why the system doesn’t work and what we can do to fix it. But I’ll be honest, it was more about meeting Matt Good.

Also, I managed to find out some hints about the setlist for Arts County Fair which is coming up on the 8th of April. Surprisingly, some old MGB songs will be played including Giant, Generation X-Wing and Apparitions. Should be an awesome set.

Daily Show Reports That Bush Has "huge balls"

Daily Show correspondent Ed Helms gave an excellent report last night on the nomination of Paul Wolfowitz to be the next president of the World Bank. Bush’s reasons for giving him the job were…

  1. “He’s a man of good experiences.”
  2. “He helped manage a large organization. The Pentagon’s a large organization. The World Bank is a large organization.”
  3. “He’s also committed to development.”

Helms’ report reminded everyone of Bush’s appointment of John Bolton to be the new US Ambassador to the UN last week even though he is on record as having no respect for the organization. Bush also nominated Alberto Gonzales as the new Attorney General even after he suggested that America would not have to follow the Geneva Convention. Summarizing, Helms stated that because of these things and the new appointment of Wolfowitz, “President Bush has huge balls.”

A rather detailed look at said balls were then conducted by using MRI scans that Helms somehow managed to acquire. We won’t discuss that here…

Anyhoo, I have never had much love for the World Bank. This is definitely not helping.

Elections Run by Same Guys Who Sell Toothpaste

By Noam Chomsky
International Relations Center

Tuesday 08 March 2005

Presidential candidate John Kerry’s platform and program were way to the right of popular opinion on just about every issue in the 2004 U.S. elections. To the extent that anybody could even understand the program, people didn’t favor it. People who voted for Kerry are people who were concerned about the economy and about health issues. Do you think those people could tell you what Kerry’s health program was or what he was going to do for the economy? I mean, I couldn’t tell you. You have to do a research project to figure out what the program was. And it’s not that people failed to know it because they’re stupid. It’s because it was not presented as something comprehensible.

Of the people who voted for candidate George Bush, the major categories were people who were concerned about terror and about national security. It’s claimed that people who were concerned about values voted for Bush, but that’s mostly a statistical artifact. When you asked the further question, “What values do you have in mind?” it turned out that the major values were things like, “I don’t like this society because it’s too materialistic,” and “There’s too much oppression.” Those are the values. Is that what Bush stands for? Getting rid of that? As far as terrorism is concerned, the administration very consciously chose actions that it was expected would increase the threat of terror and, in fact, did. It’s not because they want terror, it’s just not much of a priority for them.

People who voted for Bush tended to assume that he was in favor of their views, even if the Republican Party platform was diametrically opposed to them. The same was largely true of Kerry voters.

The reason for this is that the parties try to exclude the population from participation. So they don’t present issues, policies, agendas, and so on. They project imagery, and people either don’t bother or they vote for the image. The Gallup Poll regularly asks, “Why are you voting?” One of the choices is, “I’m voting for the candidate’s stand on issues.” That was 6% for Bush, and 13% for Kerry-and most of those voters were deluded about the positions of the candidates. So what you have is essentially flipping a coin. Each candidate got approximately 30% of the electorate. Bush got 31%, Kerry got 29%.

The party managers know where the public stands on a whole list of issues. Their funders just don’t support them; the interests they represent don’t support them. So they project a different kind of image.

If you listen to the presidential debates, you can’t figure out what they’re saying, and that’s on purpose. The last debate was supposed to be about domestic issues. The New York Times commented that Kerry didn’t make any hint about possible government involvement in health care programs because that position has, in their words, “no political support.” Well, according to the most recent polls, 80% of the population thinks that the government ought to guarantee health care for everyone, and furthermore regard it as a moral obligation. That tells you something about people’s values. But there’s “no political support.”

Why? Because the pharmaceutical industry is opposed, the financial institutions are opposed, the insurance industry is opposed, so there’s “no political support.” It doesn’t matter if 80% of the population regard it as a moral obligation: That doesn’t count as political support. It tells you something about the elite conception. You’re supposed to vote for the image they’re projecting. That’s not surprising really. Just ask yourself, “Who runs the elections?”

The elections are run by the same guys who sell toothpaste. They show you an image of a sports hero, or a sexy model, or a car going up a sheer cliff or something, which has nothing to do with the commodity, but it’s intended to delude you into picking this one rather than another one. Same when they run elections. But they’re assigned that task in order to marginalize the public, and furthermore, people are pretty well aware of it.

For many years, election campaigns here have been run by the public relations industry and each time it’s with increasing sophistication. Quite naturally, the industry uses the same technique to sell candidates that it uses to sell toothpaste or lifestyle drugs. The point is to undermine markets by projecting imagery to delude and suppressing information-and similarly, to undermine democracy by the same method.

In the year 2000, there was a huge fuss afterwards about the stolen election, with the Florida chads and the Supreme Court. But ask yourself who was exorcised about it? It was all among a small group of intellectuals. They were the ones who were upset about it. There was never any public resonance for this. In the current election it’s being reiterated. There’s a big fuss among intellectuals about the vote in Ohio, how the voting machines didn’t work, and other things. But the interesting thing is that nobody cares.

Why don’t people care if the election is stolen? The reason is that they don’t take the election seriously in the first place. They reacted about the way that people react to television ads. It’s a mode of delusion. If the Democrats want to succeed in that game, they’re just going to have to figure out better ways of delusion.

There is an alternative, and that is to try to run a program that’s committed to developing a democratic society in which people’s opinions matter.

These are remarks Noam Chomsky made on Jan. 25 at events in Santa Fe, NM, celebrating the 25th anniversary of the International Relations Center (IRC). Chomsky is a member of the IRC’s board of directors.

Pictures! Glorious Pictures!

The following are pictures from last month’s Engineers Ball at the Pan Pacific Hotel. It was a blast! I don’t think I’ve danced like that since my High School Grad party. Ohhh the memories…

Max, Myra and I get prepped for the Engineers Ball.

As you can see, there ARE women in engineering. And no, I’m not drunk. This was at 1am in the morning. 😀